How to Ruin a First Date
As matchmakers, we get the inside scoop from both men and women about what their potential matches do to screw up a date – and sometimes, before it even comes to fruition. Something as simple as your phone etiquette can be keeping you single, so we want to dole out some useful advice to get you on the road to a successful relationship.
We’ve provided a handful of negative feedback we receive from and about our clients which is where our coaching might be helpful. Unfortunately, a negative first impression is rarely reversible and a match that could have been perfect is unlikely to get off the ground. So, to avoid these common mishaps and aide in your accomplishment, be cognizant of the following when getting to know someone new, so that they stick around long enough to get to know the incredible person you are.
- Men, the most common pre-date complaint I get from ladies is when your initial method of communication is via text message. Women, even in this generation, prefer and appreciate an old-fashioned phone call. It is fine to follow up with a text message asking her when a good time to chat is after you’ve left her a voicemail, but always, always make a phone call first. Secondly, have a date in mind, if it's outside the first two we set for you. Don’t expect her to figure it out. You’re the man, and she’s OK with that, so take the lead and have a few options up your sleeve and allow her to choose.
- Ladies, on this note, if a man calls you, please be courteous in your response by getting back to him promptly. Don’t wait two days to return his call. Frankly, it’s just rude and shows disinterest from the get-go, which will dull any spark and linger there before and during your first date – and men respond well to earnestness and positive energy. Sure, you don’t know each other yet, but you have to go into each date assuming this could be the love of your life. Start this journey with the person by being well-mannered and at least somewhat enthusiastic.
- Speaking of enthusiasm, we understand that dating can seem like a chore, especially if you date like it’s your job. But if you are utilizing a matchmaker, know that this is not just “another date”, but a very regarded, specifically chosen, well-liked individual who is special and unique, which is why they are a client of ours in the first place – so show a little excitement when you talk to and meet them! Sometimes we hear that the initial phone call is less appealing than watching paint dry, so either work on your positive energy, stop serial dating to the point of frustration, or start finding reasons to be excited about meeting someone new! Nothing will sap a first date more than a lackluster personality.
- Do not regale your date with your life’s checklists and timelines of specific events or occurrences that need to happen in your life by the age of (fill in blank). We all have relationship goals of course, and that is bound to be discussed in a reasonable time frame…but the first date is not the time. Ladies specifically, not to be hard on you, but if you want to be engaged in six months, married in 12 months, and pregnant by 14 months, please do not engage in that dialogue between the first phone call and the third date. That conversation can wait, trust us.
- Past relationships have no place in a budding or new relationship. No one wants to hear the drama surrounding your divorce, custody battle or how your ex is an evil, soulless cretin on your first couple of dates. Talking about your financial problems or, especially in today's political climate, discussing politics, is another surefire way to stay single. For one, it's in bad taste and will make you appear jaded and puerile, but it will also make it seem as though you haven’t healed and are not ready to date – which will be frustrating for someone who is ready to open their heart again.
- Gentlemen, if you continue to see the woman after the first two dates that we set for you, please do not ask her out the day-of in the early dating stage. It’s generally more polite to give her some time to prepare for the date, and also takes into account her time and personal life. A few days or more in advance is recommended. When you see her all dolled up because she had those few extra days to primp, you will be glad you were so patient.
- Let’s talk date manners – but these go beyond chewing with your mouth closed, opening doors for a lady and minding your pleases and thank yous. Other habits that will surely make you (and us) look bad while out on a date are drinking too much, talking about yourself and not reciprocating questions, texting or checking messages at the table (phones away, please!). Also, be courteous to your wait staff, tip appropriately and please, please order more than a water.